|By Gaylen Duskey|
I was shopping with my daughter Elizabeth the other day when she asked me
what I wanted for Christmas.
"A job," I mumbled.
"Dad. Something I can get," she said.
"I don't know. I honestly don't know," I said. "If you don't get me
anything, then that will be all right too."
And I meant what I said. I knew she was thinking about me but I also know as
a person looking for a job - and have been since late April - that you
become forced to throw nickels around like manhole covers. Gifts are great
but they must take a back seat to things like mortgage payments, utility
bills and food. With the exception of Christmas for Elizabeth the gifts are
taking a back seat.
But on the way home, as I thought more and more about it, I came up with the
answer for Elizabeth. It is something I need and something that doesn't cost
"I think tee shirts would be nice," I said.
"I was looking at some. You want long sleeve or short sleeve?" she asked.
"Long sleeved tee shirts? You sure we're talking about the same thing?"
No, we weren't. She was talking about shirts and I was talking about tee
shirts - I prefer v-necked and have quit wearing the other kind years ago -
that you wear under your regular shirt or to sleep in. Those tee shirts.
She said she'd look.
That's all I can ask since I know she cares even though the purse may be
But yes there are things I would like to have.
I'd love to have a new computer, or a new hard drive for my old computer. Or
somebody with the knowledge of how to work on a computer to help me fix the
one I have. A computer is needed when the stuff you are selling on e-Bay is
more than just a wild hair . it's necessary to make ends meet.
I'd like to have five football cards. I need a Cleveland Browns team card
from the 1958 Topps set to complete the set I have been working on for,
well, since I bought them as a kid. I could also use a Jim Brown card from
the same set but it isn't "expensive" its "very expensive."
I'd also like to have three 1962 Fleer football cards - Jim Otto, Charley
Powell and Bob Coolbaugh.
I would like to have those cards although in the grand scheme of things if I
never get them it wouldn't be a tragedy.
There are other things I would love for Christmas . things that I can't buy,
nor can anyone else buy them for me.
I would love for my wife's mammogram to come back clean. I would love for my
mother's knees to quit hurting her. I would love for my dad to remember
things better than he does now. I would love for Elizabeth to have the
breaks I never got as she grows up. I would even love to go through a day
without tingling in my feet or pain in my back and knees or a gnawing
feeling that as a husband and father I am not a very good provider at this
On the other hand I would love for people to know the warmth and love I get
from my friends and family.
This time five years ago I was making big money as the director of a
division of an Internet company with about 120 people working for me. This
time last year I was a columnist for a daily newspaper. Today I am selling
stuff on e-Bay to make ends meet.
It certainly isn't how I wanted things to go. I wanted to be rich and
retired now. However, it looks as if it may never happen.
But that doesn't matter because my friends and my family accept and love me
the way I am.
What do I want for Christmas Elizabeth?
Nothing honey. Your love is more than I could ever ask for.
But if you see Elizabeth shopping for a tee shirt, tell her to get at least